Jack Sparrow Banned at Disney Park Amid Pirates of the Caribbean Controversy

in Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Emergency Situation; Shocked Jack Sparrow and Disneyland Resort

Credit: Inside the Magic

It’s a tough time to be a Pirates of the Caribbean fan as the attraction continuously stirs controversy at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. This week, Disneyland Park guests revealed that Captain Jack Sparrow was banned from a large part of the Southern California Disney Park.

The decades-old boat ride is a Disney Parks icon, but some fans are ready for it to go. Last week, the conversation about Pirates of the Caribbean’s place in modern culture resurfaced when Disneyland Resort revealed that it replaced Captain Jack Sparrow with Peter Pan in Fantasmic!.

Walt Disney Imagineering has updated Pirates of the Caribbean twice at Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park. First, they retrofitted Johnny Depp-inspired Jack Sparrow animatronics into multiple scenes. Over a decade later, Imagineers removed a sexist bride auction scene and turned the female animatronics into independent, fierce pirates.

Auction scene featuring Pirate Redd, the auctioneer, and townspeople in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

Still, some Disney Parks guests are ready to let go of Pirates of the Caribbean. “I just think this is kind of a weird ride,” said one woman in 2023, noting that she felt “ogled” by the male animatronics. “It’s just a little bit rapey.”

Despite recent temporary closures and breakdowns, thousands of guests enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean daily. Some Disney Park fans love the ride and subsequent films so much that they seek out meet-and-greets with two of its most iconic characters, Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Redd.

This week, Disneyland Resort guests on Reddit discussed the location of the roaming Pirates of the Caribbean character performers. Redditor u/RoyalMannequin started the conversation by asking fans if they’d like to meet Captain Redd and Jack Sparrow on the Sailing Ship Columbia, a merchant ship that sails the Rivers of America.

Pirates in the jail with the dog Pirates of the Caribbean Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

“I’ve heard it spoken a bit that Jack and Redd are unable to board the Columbia for photo ops due to it being a merchant vessel and flying an American flag,” the Disney Parks fan wrote.

“That said, Captain Redd is a merchant of sorts and Captain Sparrow has been known to sail with merchants before…Princess Tiana gets to do photo ops with guests on the Mark Twain and I think it would be great to see the pirates, in their natural habitat, on a ship!”

Most respondents voted to keep Jack Sparrow and Captain Redd off the Columbia. Around 30% said they’d like the characters to appear on the ship all of the time, while another 30% said no except for special events.

Sailing Ship Columbia, a historic Disneyland ride.
Credit: Disney

“I’m glad they actually stick to that rule since it helps reinforce that the Columbia is a merchant ship and not, as many guests call it, a pirate ship,” u/Phased5ek replied. “It’s subtle but history for such an iconic ship such as that should be honored and not tossed out for the sake of ‘a cool photo opportunity.’”

“Maintaining that history for the ship’s sake is important and, hopefully, those who call it a pirate ship will eventually go on it and learn its important history,” they continued.

“…If people pay attention and watch for her, Redd can often be found down by the Rivers of America, where she’ll stand for photos that give a great background of Tom Sawyer Island and — if a person times it right! — the Columbia sailing by.”

Have you met Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Redd at Disneyland Resort? Share your story with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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